With the end of the river season also being the end of the season at Bowood I was faced with one match in March on the last Sunday at Boddington Reservoir in Northamptonshire. I had actually booked the match for the MFSReborn site but more of that later. I intended to go up the previous weekend to see the water level and speak with the bailiff regarding allocation of pegs and Darren Edgell said he would come along also. Before that I had a host of jobs to catch up on around the house so it was indeed the visit to Boddington that was my first chance to fish.
Meeting up with Darren at the Brunch Bar on the outskirts of Banbury we carried on to Boddington and parked up. I had forgotten that they had put in a gentle ramp to replace the “heart attack hill” that we previously had to negotiate so that was a welcome development. I had made a decision not to take a pole and match kit instead my tackle for the day was to be my Bowood matchbox, the Chinese whips and a couple of rods- a waggler and a feeder. I settled on peg 38 and Darren on 39 with the water level high, lapping over the top of the fist platform down.
For those unfamiliar with Boddington, there are a series of concrete steps and platforms on each peg reaching out to about 3-4m, I am not sure if it is 3 or 4 platforms in total as my memory is playing tricks having only once fished at the base of the “stairs”. The wind was not too bad when we got there, strong, cold (easterly) and in your face but increased significantly during the day with gusts of 33mph plus a steady wind into the high twenties. This had a profound effect as starting on the 5m whip Chinese style I began catching roach only for the wind to increase and the tow pick up so that it was faster than the Thames in summer! My presentation was totally wrong and I struggled, Darren was fishing a pole and had started the day with 15 (fifteen) balls of groundbait but was able to keep his float relatively steady between gusts to catch . A swap to waggler was no better and in desperation I swung a feeder out on my whip line, this at least got me a couple more fish but that died when I lost a roach over a pound when the hook pulled in the wind. I ended up with just 9 roach and 6 lost fish, Darren managed 44. To give you some idea of the wind the water was splashing up into my face!
Returning home things went from bad to worse when my computer cut out in mid flow, initially I thought it was a power cut but quickly dismissed that thought as the screen was still on! To cut a long story short the motherboard had short circuited so I got hold of a cheap refurbished computer to tide me over, disassembled the old computer and stored the parts with the intention of upgrading the new one with said parts once the year’s warranty expires.
The matches we have held at Boddington in the past have attracted over 40 anglers but I had initially 15 expressing interest and had booked 12 pegs knowing I could add more, however by Wednesday we were down to 6! Covid, family issues, health problems and work abroad had taken its toll. I could not ask some anglers to do a 160 mile round trip for a match involving 6 anglers so with regret I cancelled the match. I was grateful to those who had already paid the peg fee refusing my offer of a refund as I still had to pay for the pegs booked! Darren and Nigel Russell still wanted to fish so as I was going anyway to pay the bailiff we had a friendly £1 bet.
The water level had dropped about 4-6inches and the wind was not nearly as strong but cold! I set up on 34, Nigel on 36 and Darren on 38. I began on the whip with the same box and rig and although I had brought a pole and rods I stubbornly stayed on the whip for the 5 hours! I began well and had eight decent roach in the net in the first hour and then the bites died! Single maggot, double maggot, caster, off bottom, hard on bottom, whatever I tried I could not buy a bite while Darren and Nigel were getting consistent fish. In the last 4 hours I had 4 fish, 2 of those came in successive put ins in the third hour, one came in the fourth hour and the final roach was foul hooked in the tail! Towards the end a pike angler came along and asked how we doing, when I told him he said that he often had big pike out of that peg and that confirmed my suspicions, especially when the bailiff came to see the weigh in and said that I probably had “the big pike” sitting in front of me!
Anyway my 12 roach weighed 5-01 so they were not a bad stamp, Nigel had 17-12 by fishing 18″ off bottom at 13m and Darren a similar number to Nigel but smaller weighing 10-15.
April beckons and a three day festival at Woodland View at the end of the month.